Book: The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Self-Esteem

Book Title:

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Self-Esteem.

Author(s): Joe Oliver.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: New Harbinger, Workbook Edition.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

We all have stories we have created about ourselves-some of them positive and some of them negative. If you suffer from low self-esteem, your story may include these types of narratives: “I’m a failure,” “I’ll never be able to do that,” or “If only I were smarter or more attractive, I could be happy.” Ironically, at the end of the day, these narratives are your biggest roadblocks to achieving happiness and living the life you deserve. So, how can you break free from these stories-once and for all?

Grounded in evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this workbook offers a step-by-step programme to help you break free from self-doubt, learn to accept yourself and your faults, identify and cultivate your strengths, and reach your full potential. You will also discover ways to take action and move toward the life you truly want, even when these actions trigger self-doubt. Finally, you’ll learn to see yourself in all your complexity, with kindness and compassion.

What is Learned Helplessness?

Introduction

Learned helplessness is behaviour exhibited by a subject after enduring repeated aversive stimuli beyond their control. It was initially thought to be caused from the subject’s acceptance of their powerlessness: discontinuing attempts to escape or avoid the aversive stimulus, even when such alternatives are unambiguously presented. Upon exhibiting such behaviour, the subject was said to have acquired learned helplessness.

Over the past few decades, neuroscience has provided insight into learned helplessness and shown that the original theory actually had it backwards: the brain’s default state is to assume that control is not present, and the presence of “helpfulness” is what is actually learned.

In humans, learned helplessness is related to the concept of self-efficacy; the individual’s belief in their innate ability to achieve goals. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from such real or perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.

Refer to Learned Optimism.

Foundation of Research and Theory

Early Experiments

American psychologist Martin Seligman initiated research on learned helplessness in 1967 at the University of Pennsylvania as an extension of his interest in depression. This research was later expanded through experiments by Seligman and others. One of the first was an experiment by Seligman & Maier:

  • In Part 1 of this study, three groups of dogs were placed in harnesses.
    • Group 1 dogs were simply put in a harness for a period of time and were later released.
    • Groups 2 and 3 consisted of “yoked pairs”.
    • Dogs in Group 2 were given electric shocks at random times, which the dog could end by pressing a lever.
    • Each dog in Group 3 was paired with a Group 2 dog; whenever a Group 2 dog got a shock, its paired dog in Group 3 got a shock of the same intensity and duration, but its lever did not stop the shock.
    • To a dog in Group 3, it seemed that the shock ended at random, because it was their paired dog in Group 2 that was causing it to stop.
    • Thus, for Group 3 dogs, the shock was “inescapable”.
  • In Part 2 of the experiment the same three groups of dogs were tested in a shuttle-box apparatus (a chamber containing two rectangular compartments divided by a barrier a few inches high).
    • All of the dogs could escape shocks on one side of the box by jumping over a low partition to the other side.
    • The dogs in Groups 1 and 2 quickly learned this task and escaped the shock.
    • Most of the Group 3 dogs – which had previously learned that nothing they did had any effect on shocks – simply lay down passively and whined when they were shocked.

In a second experiment later that year with new groups of dogs, Overmier and Seligman ruled out the possibility that, instead of learned helplessness, the Group 3 dogs failed to avert in the second part of the test because they had learned some behaviour that interfered with “escape”. To prevent such interfering behaviour, Group 3 dogs were immobilised with a paralysing drug (curare), and underwent a procedure similar to that in Part 1 of the Seligman and Maier experiment. When tested as before in Part 2, these Group 3 dogs exhibited helplessness as before. This result serves as an indicator for the ruling out of the interference hypothesis.

From these experiments, it was thought that there was to be only one cure for helplessness. In Seligman’s hypothesis, the dogs do not try to escape because they expect that nothing they do will stop the shock. To change this expectation, experimenters physically picked up the dogs and moved their legs, replicating the actions the dogs would need to take in order to escape from the electrified grid. This had to be done at least twice before the dogs would start wilfully jumping over the barrier on their own. In contrast, threats, rewards, and observed demonstrations had no effect on the “helpless” Group 3 dogs.

Later Experiments

Later experiments have served to confirm the depressive effect of feeling a lack of control over an aversive stimulus. For example, in one experiment, humans performed mental tasks in the presence of distracting noise. Those who could use a switch to turn off the noise rarely bothered to do so, yet they performed better than those who could not turn off the noise. Simply being aware of this option was enough to substantially counteract the noise effect. In 2011, an animal study found that animals with control over stressful stimuli exhibited changes in the excitability of certain neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Animals that lacked control failed to exhibit this neural effect and showed signs consistent with learned helplessness and social anxiety.

Expanded Theories

Research has found that a human’s reaction to feeling a lack of control differs both between individuals and between situations, i.e. learned helplessness sometimes remains specific to one situation but at other times generalises across situations. Such variations are not explained by the original theory of learned helplessness, and an influential view is that such variations depend on an individual’s attributional or explanatory style. According to this view, how someone interprets or explains adverse events affects their likelihood of acquiring learned helplessness and subsequent depression. For example, people with pessimistic explanatory style tend to see negative events as permanent (“it will never change”), personal (“it’s my fault”), and pervasive (“I can’t do anything correctly”), and are likely to suffer from learned helplessness and depression.

Bernard Weiner proposed a detailed account of the attributional approach to learned helplessness. His attribution theory includes the dimensions of globality/specificity, stability/instability, and internality/externality:

  • A global attribution occurs when the individual believes that the cause of negative events is consistent across different contexts.
    • A specific attribution occurs when the individual believes that the cause of a negative event is unique to a particular situation.
  • A stable attribution occurs when the individual believes the cause to be consistent across time.
    • An unstable attribution occurs when the individual thinks that the cause is specific to one point in time.
  • An external attribution assigns causality to situational or external factors,
    • while an internal attribution assigns causality to factors within the person.

Research has shown that those with an internal, stable, and global attributional style for negative events can be more at risk for a depressive reaction to failure experiences.

Neurobiological Perspective

Research has shown that increased 5-HT (serotonin) activity in the dorsal raphe nucleus plays a critical role in learned helplessness. Other key brain regions that are involved with the expression of helpless behaviour include the basolateral amygdala, central nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Activity in medial prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus, septum and hypothalamus has also been observed during states of helplessness.

In the article, “Exercise, Learned Helplessness, and the Stress-Resistant Brain”, Benjamin N. Greenwood and Monika Fleshner discuss how exercise might prevent stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression. They show evidence that running wheel exercise prevents learned helplessness behaviours in rats. They suggest that the amount of exercise may not be as important as simply exercising at all. The article also discusses the neurocircuitry of learned helplessness, the role of serotonin (or 5-HT), and the exercise-associated neural adaptations that may contribute to the stress-resistant brain. However, the authors finally conclude that:

“The underlying neurobiological mechanisms of this effect, however, remain unknown. Identifying the mechanisms by which exercise prevents learned helplessness could shed light on the complex neurobiology of depression and anxiety and potentially lead to novel strategies for the prevention of stress-related mood disorders”.

Health Implications

People who perceive events as uncontrollable show a variety of symptoms that threaten their mental and physical well-being. They experience stress, they often show disruption of emotions demonstrating passivity or aggressiveness, and they can also have difficulty performing cognitive tasks such as problem-solving. They are less likely to change unhealthy patterns of behaviour, causing them, for example, to neglect diet, exercise, and medical treatment.

Depression

Abnormal and cognitive psychologists have found a strong correlation between depression-like symptoms and learned helplessness in laboratory animals.

Young adults and middle-aged parents with a pessimistic explanatory style often suffer from depression. They tend to be poor at problem-solving and cognitive restructuring, and also tend to demonstrate poor job satisfaction and interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Those with a pessimistic style also tend to have weakened immune systems, having not only increased vulnerability to minor ailments (e.g. cold, fever) and major illness (e.g. heart attack, cancers), but also poorer recovery from health problems.

Social Impact

Learned helplessness can be a factor in a wide range of social situations.

  • In emotionally abusive relationships, the victim often develops learned helplessness.
    • This occurs when the victim confronts or tries to leave the abuser only to have the abuser dismiss or trivialise the victim’s feelings, pretend to care but not change, or impede the victim from leaving.
  • The motivational effect of learned helplessness is often seen in the classroom.
    • Students who repeatedly fail may conclude that they are incapable of improving their performance, and this attribution keeps them from trying to succeed, which results in increased helplessness, continued failure, loss of self-esteem and other social consequences.
  • Child abuse by neglect can be a manifestation of learned helplessness.
    • For example, when parents believe they are incapable of stopping an infant’s crying, they may simply give up trying to do anything for the child.
  • Those who are extremely shy or anxious in social situations may become passive due to feelings of helplessness.
    • Gotlib and Beatty (1985) found that people who cite helplessness in social settings may be viewed poorly by others, which tends to reinforce the passivity.
  • Aging individuals may respond with helplessness to the deaths of friends and family members, the loss of jobs and income, and the development of age-related health problems.
    • This may cause them to neglect their medical care, financial affairs, and other important needs.
  • According to Cox et al., Abramson, Devine, and Hollon (2012), learned helplessness is a key factor in depression that is caused by inescapable prejudice (i.e. “deprejudice”).
    • Thus: “Helplessness born in the face of inescapable prejudice matches the helplessness born in the face of inescapable shocks.”
  • According to Ruby K. Payne’s book A Framework for Understanding Poverty, treatment of the poor can lead to a cycle of poverty, a culture of poverty, and generational poverty.
    • This type of learned helplessness is passed from parents to children.
    • People who embrace this mentality feel there is no way to escape poverty and so one must live in the moment and not plan for the future, trapping families in poverty.

Social problems resulting from learned helplessness may seem unavoidable to those entrenched. However, there are various ways to reduce or prevent it. When induced in experimental settings, learned helplessness has been shown to resolve itself with the passage of time. People can be immunized against the perception that events are uncontrollable by increasing their awareness of previous experiences, when they were able to effect a desired outcome. Cognitive therapy can be used to show people that their actions do make a difference and bolster their self-esteem.

Extensions

Cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman used learned helplessness to explain why people blame themselves when they have a difficult time using simple objects in their environment.

The UK educationalist Phil Bagge describes it as a learning avoidance strategy caused by prior failure and the positive reinforcement of avoidance such as asking teachers or peers to explain and consequently do the work. It shows itself as sweet helplessness or aggressive helplessness often seen in challenging problem solving contexts, such as learning to use a new computer programming language.

The US sociologist Harrison White has suggested in his book Identity and Control that the notion of learned helplessness can be extended beyond psychology into the realm of social action. When a culture or political identity fails to achieve desired goals, perceptions of collective ability suffer.

Emergence under Torture

Studies on learned helplessness served as the basis for developing enhanced interrogation techniques. In CIA interrogation manuals, learned helplessness is characterised as “apathy” which may result from prolonged use of coercive techniques which result in a “debility-dependency-dread” state in the subject, “If the debility-dependency-dread state is unduly prolonged, however, the arrestee may sink into a defensive apathy from which it is hard to arouse him.”

Book: Mindfulness For Insomnia

Book Title:

Mindfulness For Insomnia – A Four-Week Guided Program To Relax Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Get the Sleep You Need.

Author(s): Catherine Polan Orzech (MA and LMFT) and William H. Moorcroft (PhD).

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: New Harbinger.

Type(s): Paperback, Audiobook, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Sleep plays a crucial role in our waking lives. While we sleep, our bodies are recharging with energy, damaged tissue is repaired, and our memories are stored. When we do not get enough sleep, we are tired, less positive, less motivated, less focused, and more likely to feel depressed. We may even experience more intense cravings for high-fat, sugar-rich foods. And yet, despite the myriad advantages of getting a good night’s sleep, countless people suffer from chronic insomnia. If you’re one of them, this book can help.

In this guide, a trained mindfulness expert teams up with a behavioural sleep specialist to offer evidence-based meditations and an innovative four-week protocol to address the emotional stresses and anxieties that lie at the root of sleep issues.

You’ll learn practices grounded in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindful self-compassion (MSC), and guided mindfulness and acceptance for insomnia (GMATI) to alleviate the mental, emotional, and physical suffering caused by insomnia. You’ll also learn to identify both internal and external factors that may be compromising your sleep, and develop a plan to address these issues.

There is nothing we can do to “make” ourselves fall asleep. In many ways, this is why insomnia can be so maddening. But what we can do is help create the conditions necessary for healthy slumber. The mindfulness tools in this book will help you do exactly that.

Book: Mindfulness for Everyday Living – A Guide for Mental Health Practitioners

Book Title:

Mindfulness for Everyday Living – A Guide for Mental Health Practitioners.

Author(s): Patrick R. Steffen (Editor).

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Springer.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

This book presents practical approaches for integrating mindfulness principles into daily life. It examines how to incorporate mindfulness principles into interventions across various fields and with different client populations. In addition, the volume describes how to teach clients to integrate mindfulness techniques into daily living – from general stress reduction and compassionate positive living to working with children with medical conditions or autism to mindful parenting and healthy marriages.

The book explains key concepts clearly and succinctly and details practical daily approaches and use. Each chapter presents cutting-edge research that is integrated into effective, proven interventions that represent the gold standard of care and are simple and powerful to use, and concludes with recommendations on how each individual can create his or her own personalized mindfulness approach that matches his or her needs and situation. This book is a must have resource for clinicians, therapists, and health professionals as well as researchers, professors, and graduate students in clinical psychology, psychotherapy/counselling, psychiatry, social work, and developmental psychology.

Book: Managing Depression with Mindfulness for Dummies

Book Title:

Managing Depression with Mindfulness for Dummies.

Author(s): Robert Gebka.

Year: 2016.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Tyndale Momentum.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

If you suffer from depression, you know that it is not something you can simply snap yourself out of. Depression is a potentially debilitating condition that must be treated and managed with care, but not knowing where to turn for help can make an already difficult time feel even more harrowing. Thankfully, Managing Depression with Mindfulness For Dummies offers authoritative and sensitive guidance on using evidence based and NHS approved Mindfulness Based Interventions similar to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help empower you to rise above depression and discover a renewed sense of emotional wellbeing and happiness. The book offers cutting edge self-management mindfulness techniques which will help you make sense of your condition and teach you how to relate differently to negative thought patterns which so often contribute to low mood and depression.

The World Health Organisation predicts that more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem by the year 2030. While the statistics are staggering, they offer a small glimmer of hope: you are not alone. As we continue to learn more about how depression works and how it can be treated, the practice of mindfulness proves to be an effective tool for alleviating stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and insomnia. With the tips and guidance offered inside, you′ll learn how to apply the practice of mindfulness to ease your symptoms of depression and get your life back.

  • Heal and recover from depression mindfully.
  • Understand the relationship between thinking, feeling, mood, and depression.
  • Reduce your depression with effective mindfulness practices.
  • Implement positive changes and prevent relapse.

Whether you are struggling with low mood or simply wish to learn mindfulness as a way of enriching your life, Managing Depression with Mindfulness For Dummies serves as a beacon of light and hope on your journey to rediscovering your sense of wellbeing, joy and happiness.

Book: Mental Health Workbook

Book Title:

Mental Health Workbook: 4 Books In 1: How to Use Neuroscience and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Declutter Your Mind, Stop Overthinking and Quickly Overcome Anxiety, Worry and Panic Attacks.

Author(s): Edward Scott.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Saturno Lecca.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Want to learn more about neuroscience paired with cognitive behavioural therapy? Would you like to figure out how to clear your mind by stopping stress, stopping overthinking, overcoming anxiety, worries and panic attacks? If so, read on!

The Cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms in a wide range of mental health problems, ranging from addiction to schizophrenia, along with almost everything in between. It has been shown to be useful for longer than drugs and other forms of therapy.

Excessive thinking can be a side effect of some nervousness problems; however, it can also be an indication of simply being overwhelmed.

One of the most important reasons you want to clear your mind is because it is already playing a negative role in your life. Living with constant negative thoughts and intense fears can cause someone to crave a way to relieve pain or develop unhealthy habits that could get worse.

Anxiety is linked to many other mental illnesses, especially depression!

The main focus of this book is to follow the steps which will improve your thinking

This book covers the following topics

  • What is cognitive behavioural therapy?
  • Stages of cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Definition of excessive thinking.
  • How to identify if you are an excessive thinker.
  • The relationship between excessive thinking, anxiety and stress.
  • Health Benefits of Decluttering.
  • Usual remedy in localised deep breathing.
  • Believe in your self-esteem.
  • And many more.

Before learning the exercises that eliminate negative thinking, you should understand why you have these thoughts.

In fact, the stress caused by information overload, endless options and physical clutter can trigger various mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Do you want to know how to prevent them?

What are the Hidden Downsides of Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness and other types of meditation are usually seen as simple stress-relievers – but they can sometimes leave people worse off.” (Wilson, 2020, p.15).

Read this interesting article by Claire Wilson in the New Scientist about the dowsides of mindfulness.

Reference

Wilson, C. (2020) The Hidden Downsides of Mindfulness. New Scientist. 22 August 2020, pp.15

Book: Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns

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Book Title:

Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns – A Schema Therapy Self-Help and Support Book.

Author(s): Gitta Jacob.

Year: 2015.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns is the first schema-mode focused resource guide aimed at schema therapy patients and self-help readers seeking to understand and overcome negative patterns of thinking and behaviour.

  • Represents the first resource for general readers on the mode approach to schema therapy.
  • Features a wealth of case studies that serve to clarify schemas and modes and illustrate techniques for overcoming dysfunctional modes and behaviour patterns.
  • Offers a series of exercises that readers can immediately apply to real-world challenges and emotional problems as well as the complex difficulties typically tackled with schema therapy.
  • Includes original illustrations that demonstrate the modes and approaches in action, along with 20 self-help mode materials which are also available online.
  • Written by authors closely associated with the development of schema therapy and the schema mode approach.

Book: Overcoming Depression

Book Title:

Overcoming Depression: The CBT Program to Overcoming Psychological Blockages Due to Depression, Anxiety, Phobias and Eliminating Negative Thoughts. Retraining Your Brain, Resolve the Eating Disorder. (Emotional Intelligence Book 4).

Author(s): George Wiseman.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First.

Publisher: Independently Published.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Do you ever cry for a long time?Can’t stand to keep having to take antidepressants or tranquilisers anymore?

One out of three patients who often go to primary care physician would have depression. Millions of people regularly take antidepressants. Being labelled as depressed is not a cure. It could even demoralise you and give you a longer bitter suffering.

We are now used to see negative emotions as disorders or diseases. Our modern therapeutic culture has gone too far in labelling people for their anxieties – such labels make them feel mentally abnormal and unable to help themselves.With my studies and by all my experience, I realised that the secret is developing resilience in adversity; dealing with problems and being deeply changed by such experiences.

I realised that our current way to approach depression and despair often makes things even worse than what they are.We live in an overprotective society, which believes the way to help weak and vulnerable people is to assist them as kids and to prevent their bad experiences.With these habits, you will have a clear view on how you can best guide your community and give priority to what is most important to achieve your goals.

This is it what you will learn in “Overcoming Depression”, which is part of the “Emotional Intelligence” series.

The goal of this books’ series is simple: we will teach you habits, mentality and actions to better recognise, feel better emotions and use them to improve yourself and others.You will learn:

  • How to develop resilience in adversity.
  • How to get through difficult times.
  • How to eliminate Negative Thoughts.
  • How to Develop an Unbeatable Mind.
  • To improve Focus and Concentration.

How to Manage Yourself”Overcoming Depression” is a book full of content with exercises that will have an immediate and positive impact on your mentality and on your working environment.

We are looking for practical actions that can create real and lasting changes if you practice regularly.Would you like to know more?Download now to Retrain Your Brain and Solve Any Behavioural Disorder.